Trailblazer Spotlight #2 is live! Come check out what Amanda Dvorak and Mike Lucht have been working on together!
An email we received this week asked about teachers leaving their usernames & passwords for substitute teachers to use to log-in to a computer. We were informed by the Help Desk, that every substitute teacher has a DMPS email created for them and can log on to a computer using it.
default password: eight-digit birthdate
Do not leave your username and password out for other people to use.
Images such as the one here are becoming more and more prevalent in social media, on food products, product packaging, business cards, museums and so much more. At this point, most people will probably at least recognize them, even if they don't know what to do with it or have never used one before. So what do you do with a QR code? Now that is a question with an infinite number of answers! I am a huge fan of the possibilities in education but know that integrating a new tool or strategy can be intimidating at first. So I outlined just a few simple ideas that can help you get started.
How will you use QR codes?
Are you looking for an opportunity to meet with other educators who are grappling with edtech questions and eager to share their experiences? Want to build a network of peers to draw upon? Tired of PD sessions that don't apply to you? Want to break out of the standard conference presentation & format? Like things that are free?
Well, depending on your answers you might want to check out edcampIowa. It is happening at five different locations around the state (central Iowa's location is Ames Middle School) on Saturday, February 13. At an edcamp event, the topics are determined that morning by the interests of the attendees. These are not passive, "sit & get" sessions. You will be collaborating, pushing ideas, asking questions of others and you will get out of it what you put into it!
For more information check out their site!
Since 2006, Twitter has become a massive social media platform with over 500 million users!!! So how exactly can we harness the power of all these users and all that knowledge to benefit ourselves? Joining a Twitter chat is a great way to get started.
TWITTER CHAT – a public conversation around one unique hashtag. Following or searching for that specific hashtag allows a user to follow or participate in the discussion. These usually have a set day of the week and time frame when they take place.
HASHTAG – in the olden days, it was better known as the pound key on your telephone #. Hashtags are used to categorize tweets that have the same theme or content.
With those two definitions out of the way, here’s how we might be able to harness the power of the Twitterverse.
On any given day and at any given time, there are countless Twitter Chats taking place about countless topics. Included in this are discussions around education, and not just education in general. Some real specific conversations that drill down to specific ideas in education. With educators from all over the world weighing in on topics that pretty much cover the entire world of education, think of all the brain power that exists within one single Twitter Chat. Speaking from my own experience I know that many of the people that are participating in these chats are A) far smarter than myself B) more experienced than myself and C) far more creative than myself. Yet, I have access to their thoughts and ideas on topics that I’m interested in. It’s like doing years of studying on a topic and then magically having a million people to collaborate with. How awesome is that!
With the basics of finding a Twitter Chat covered, it only makes sense to provide you with some of the more well-known Twitter Chats out there, and maybe a few that you haven’t heard about.
#Edchat – Tuesdays @ 11 AM and 6 PM – General topics in education
#iaedchat – Sundays @ 8:00 PM – educational chat focused on Iowa
#ccsschat – Sundays @ 8:00 PM –Common Core State Standards
#msmathchat – Mondays @ 8:00 PM –middle school math
#plearnchat – Bi-weekly on Mondays @ 6:00 PM – personalized learning
#DI4ALL – 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month @ 7:00 PM – differentiated Instruction
Personally, I spend much of my time “stalking” twitter chats, reading responses and thinking about how their ideas or thoughts could be applied to my situation. Occasionally, I’ll participate and throw my own ideas and thoughts in. So get out there and learn! Follow a hashtag or just stop in to a Twitter Chat to see how it might be able to help you.
This app for Windows 7 and higher is a simplistic "tweak" to an old tool that most of us have used before. It comes out of a part of Microsoft that is called "The Garage." I like the back story to this which goes with The Garage, the community of people that make this up are described as the "hackers, makers, artists, tinkerers, musicians, and inventors." This is nothing new to companies like Microsoft, I mean a Google engineer created Gmail from something similar to this called "20 Percent Time."
So why mess with a tool that was already a functional one that many people use? The team that developed it used the original Snip tool, but started asking for a better way because they asked the 'what if' question. "What if snipping was a modern experience that looked and felt like something from Windows 10? What if we could narrate Snips with our voice and use digital ink on what we capture? They wanted to exceed what was already available and in the process they redefined the tool completely by making a small shift in its capabilities. I feel the most impacting quote from their story is "Sometimes the simplest things are the most powerful." Which when they asked the question and followed through with their creation, they allowed easy accessibility for everyone to connect ideas, a new way to easily communicate digitally. If you are curious and want to try this out for yourself here is the link http://aka.ms/snip happy "snipping." I created a quick Snip that took about 1 minute to create check it out.
Are you getting a message that says dmschools.org (or another website) has been moved when you try to access it through Firefox?
Have no fear, we have a solution! To correct this error, you will need to clear your web browser history in Firefox. To do so, follow these directions:
1. Open Firefox
2. Click on the 3-lined icon in the upper right corner
3. Click on the History Icon
4. Click on Clear Recent History
5. Select Time Frame (Selecting Everything will clear all of your browsing history)
6. Under details make sure the following boxes are checked:
Browsing & Download History, Cookies, and Cache
7. Click Clear Now
8. Refresh your page and you should be good to go.
The DMPS Instructional Technology Coordinators share updates, articles, ideas & observations here.